The Newman & Oltman Guitar Duo return to the festival for a Latin-flavored guitar recital Wednesday, Sept. 15. Guitarists Michael Newman and Laura Oltman are joined by flutist Clare Hoffman in a program of the music of Spain, Mexico and Argentina, by de Falla, Albeniz, Piazzolla, Ponce and Sarasate.
On Friday, Sept. 17, the Newman & Oltman Guitar Duo, the Calder String Quartet and Pulitzer-Prize winning author Frank McCourt perform the Arizona premiere of Laments and Dances, From the Irish, composed for them by Arnold Black. His suite incorporates Celtic themes of the blind 17th century Irish troubadour Turlough O’Carolan, and features a mixture of laments, jigs and reels along with McCourt’s readings from “Angela’s Ashes and “’Tis.” The program is rounded out with the Guitar Duo joined by festival co-founders harmonica player Robert Bonfiglio and flutist Clare Hoffman, playing a selection of other Celtic works by O’Carolan, Seamus Egan, and Ivers and Keane.
On Saturday, Sept. 18, the Newman & Oltman Guitar Duo presents works by young, contemporary American composers in a program entitled The New Americans. Composers include Lowell Liebermann, Dusan Bogdanovic, Rami Vamos and Randall Avers, followed by a repeat performance of Laments and Dances, From the Irish, with Frank McCourt and the Calder String Quartet.
Harmonica wizard Robert Bonfiglio, along with eclectic electric violinist Joe Deninzon, and studio guitarist, composer and vocalist Chris Milletari, return to Flagstaff’s Orpheum Theatre on Monday, Sept. 20. Their sound combines jazz, rock, blues, folk, Latin, world and classical music.
The Bonfiglio Group returns to the Grand Canyon for an (almost) repeat performance of this perennial crowd-pleaser on Wednesday, Sept. 22.
The multi-instrumentalist Nokuthula Ngwenyama (viola, violin) and pianist Melvin Chen headline the festival’s final weekend, Friday, Sept. 24 and Saturday, Sept. 25, with Bonfiglio joining on the harmonica. Friday evening, expanding on the “musical chairs” theme in J. S. Bach’s Concerto in C Minor, Bonfiglio takes the oboe part, Ngwenyama the violin, and Chen the orchestra. Sonatas by Faure and Brahms complete the program.
These artists close out the season Saturday with works by Debussy, Grieg and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, and Three American Sketches for harmonica and strings, written by the record producer George Martin (sometimes called “the fifth Beatle”) . Robert Bonfiglio and Melvin Chen perform it at the Grand Canyon in the series finale.
Individual tickets for Grand Canyon concerts are $18 for adults, $8 for children and students. Season tickets for all eight Grand Canyon concerts are $112 for adults, $64 for children and students. Organizers ask that children attending be at least six years old.
Tickets for the Tuesday, Sept. 21, performance at the Orpheum in Flagstaff are $15 each.
Complete programming and ticket details can be found on the festival’s Web site, www.grandcanyonmusicfest.org